Ricardo Partida's Spit Fire in the World So Cold, photo by Bun Stout
Julius Cesar is pleased to present two solo shows, Yae Jee Min’s sweet rain that fell: through a kaleidoscope and Ricardo Partida’s Final Fantasy.
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Yae Jee Min @ Julius Caesar
Yae Jee Min’s sweet rain that fell: through a kaleidoscope melds layers of drawing and painting into mysterious surfaces of lost origin. An iteration of her sequin series, the group of paintings are oily, iridescent, and scaly, yet appear as opaque to scrutiny as a pool of water with dancing reflections. Discovering what lies on top of and underneath becomes a beguiling search, as sequins, heat-press dyes, acrylic, and an array of traditional craft materials are all uniquely veiled behind polyester scrim.
Min uses “물든다,” to describe her work, a Korean phrase without a direct translation but roughly means “Water comes on to you.” “It is as if it is dyed with something,” she explains. “It’s an embodiment, where you take something and put that into yourself.”
Like fleeting reflections, her gestures are in one instance murky and unfocused, while in another pinpointed and direct. The images she uses are similarly obscured, a fusion of identifiable symbols (such as butterflies and faces) along withpieces of her own memories and domestic landscapes divorced from materiality. The disparate elements come together as though blended by fog, creating a picture space both narrow and distantphysical manifestation of both recollection and dissociation, comfort and discomfort.
Ricardo Partida @ Julius Caesar
Ricardo Partida’s Final Fantasy exhibits a series of vividly colored oil paintings and ghostly ink-wash drawings that reference “figura serpentinata.” Combining Femme Fatale aesthetics with neoclassicists’ depictions of Greek mythology, Partida draws on Eros and Cupid to create fantasy avatars of desire. The paintings’ centralized figures reference Partida's interest in the “F@g Fatale,” the idea of an effeminate man bringing the world to its knees.
The body of work is attributed to Carol Ockman’s 1995 text “Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies” as a means of synthesizing layers of symbols and inspiration into paintings. “Using the serpentine line, Ingres shifted the representation of the heroic male in art to the homoerotic sensualized male nude, therefore creating an ‘other’ in gendered visual language,” says Partida.
Transposing lines and proportions previously associated with Venus, Ingres’s use of figura serpentinata on male figures created heroic figures of desire. Partida continues, “[Ingres] sanctioned an ideal of desire that conjoined the sensual and feminine with the deformed and bestial.” For Final Fantasy, Partida uses that visual language to create exalted alter egos, performative avatars that obscure artist and subject.
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Yae Jee Min (b.1990) is an interdisciplinary artist. She holds a MFA and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in psychology from Boston University. Using intersected methodologies of painting and craft, she investigates nostalgia through abstraction and materiality. Through whimsy and childish haphazard zones, she creates spaces in which memories, nostalgia, and identity both engage and entangle with one another. Whether it is dealing with specific moments of domestic spaces, sleep deprivation, mental illness, and femininity; her work confronts these spaces of familiarity with whimsicality to allow viewers into the moment safely, allowing polemic thoughts to be buffered by notions of blanket warmth. Her work has been exhibited internationally and nationally including Seoul Museum of Arts, Torrance Art Museum, and DfbrL8r Gallery.
Ricardo Partida (b.1990) is a painter and recent graduate from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Fine Arts in Studio program. His work largely critiques and illuminates depictions of gender and desire in the Western Art Cannon. By using the visual language of figura serpentinata, his works create surrogacies of seduction that question conventional power structures. Through the use of surface treatments, mark making, and the quality of line attributed to Carol Ockman’s 1995 text ‘Retracing the Serpentine Line’, his work explores carnal desires through the push and pull of menace and allure. Born in Mexico City, Mexico and raised in the borderlands of South Texas, Partida’s work has been exhibited nationally including Texas, Chicago, and New York.